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|Shigure|| Forward Operation Base MI, Malacca Strait, southern entrance.
"Okay, everyone here?" asks Yamashiro, as a projector spools up and begins showing a map of the operational area. "Alright, we are splitting into three teams... Team one, Sword, will move in to investigate the large structure on the southern island, we believe this is part of a larger network os Shadow Generators, cloaking the rest of the Strait in darkness. Team two, Spear, will engage the Abyssal Patrol force directly and attempt to keep them distracted while the other two teams do their jobs. Team Three, Hammer, will investigate the smaller base on the mainland. Recon flights show an Abyssal Shore Battery being constructed, though it appears to be incomplete and non-operational. Secondary objectives of Sword and Hammer are to damage or destroy any targets of opportunity that present themselves after initial recon." As the Battleship speaks, the projection shifts to zoom in on still images of the large structure, a tall spire that has an absense of any light at the top. The Abyssal Patrol, with the Modified Ta-class in Line Ahead formation, then a shore battery hardpoint, partially constructed, and a small assortment of buildings made out of jagged metal. "Spear Team will be headed by the Fifth Strike, supported by elements of DesDiv Six, The Ninth Torpedo Squadron, and Fast Battleship Hiei. If anyone finds information on the Abyssal Air Defense Princess, Davao, please relay it to HQ immediately for follow-up operations. She is considered a high priority target for capture." Yamashiro dips her head. "Any questions?"
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa has been here for some time and had settled in to wait for the brifing once it gets started she'll pay close attention to the projector and watches. There were three main areas of operation from the looks of it. She takes note of the three targets. The sea op wouldn't be the best place for her.
So it would be Sword or Hammer for her the question is which would be the best to go after. She thinks about her own skillset for a moment.
"All right I'm thinking I would be best to put on Sword Team. I can help with the generators the most I think."
"Any ideas what might be guarding the objective for Sword?"
|Reiuji and Rin||With only a passing familiarity of most of the Elites present at the forward base, Utsuho and Rin might stick out a bit between just staring at everyone one after the other without any regards for personal space or not making things awkward, and also for looking visibly excited when the projection of the big spire comes out.
Utsuho: "Hey, isn't that kinda like the last one we saw?"
Rin: "Right? But I thought that one had more light..."
Utsuho: "Just change it to the opposite, then. If it's lit up, fry it. If it's dark, light it up. But Spear team sounds like pretty fun, too."
Rin: "Right? They get to blow up everyone and not get yelled at for it."
Utsuho: "Not by anyone here, but someone's probably going to yell at us."
Rin: "Yeah, but... Oh."
As they continue weighing their options, the youkai eventually start checking their own gear to make sure they're prepared for whatever it is they're going to do: Utsuho with her control rod, and Rin with her suspicious wheelbarrow. Eventually, though, Rin lets out an excitable noise at the call for questions.
"Yo! Who's this Davao, why's she important, and what's the payout for all this?"
|Midway|| At the back of the briefing hall is a figure most unusual for these Hikari combat briefings; a ghastly pale figure cloaked in a black hoodie-dress. The hood is drawn, but pink eyes glow with enough light that any shadow cast by the hood is rendered pointless. Through most of the provided plan, though, those eyes are half-lidded, distractedly bored. It's only when the Spear team's objective is described that those pink half-moons open up into unnaturally perfect circles. A shark-toothed smile crosses the girl's face.
Re-Class raises her hand immediately, "How bad you want the ships thrashed? No survivors? I can do no survivors."
Midway had a passing interest in Davao's fate, so that might explain why her little monstrosity is present.
|Gideon Kaspar||"I still don't really get it."
"How hard can it possibly be? There's three teams, Sword, Hammer, and Spear, and--"
"No no, I get *that* part!"
"Huh? You do?"
"Well, no, but I'm just going to listen to the Commander when he tells me what to do later anyways, right?"
"Ah, so, what are you stuck on?"
"Is the briefing lady really a boat? Or is she an AI themed like a boat?"
"I heard it was some kind of . . . what was the Japanese thing . . . tsukogamami? Tsukumogani?"
"Use words I understand!"
"Personally, I still stand with 'themed android' for navy people."
"Please, be respectful. Also be quiet, I'm trying to listen."
This is the classroom talk of G&K's fingest. Clover, designated M4, is doing her best to studiously soak up the information as the squad's alleged commander, and looking nervous. Violet, designated AR15, is mostly looking annoyed that anyone is even asking questions, restlessly tapping her thigh and flinching at every additional hand raise. Rose, designated SOP2, will not stop staring at Yamashiro with frankly unnerving intensity, like a curious cat watching a songbird. Hazel, designated M16, has managed to bring brandy into the meeting room and seems to believe nobody else has noticed yet.
G&K's human representative, and ostensibly the one responsible for handling this bunch, is in a forward row, wearing the fancy red Griffin officer jacket unbuttoned over a more conventional three-piece suit, swiping across a touch tablet and tapping some kind of digital eyepiece to it at regular intervals for data transfer. Next to him, a red-headed girl in a cargo jacket and pushed-up aviators is furiously scribbling on her otwn tablet, muttering numbers under her breath.
"Now then. I don't think the payout should be in question. For you ladies, the--" "Here Commander! I wrote the contract already!" "Huh? This is way too much. Can't we do a discount for--" "Not after you gave the last one fifty percent off!" "Oh come on. We have plenty to spare! And these girls are clearly in need!" "And the one before that went for only a third of the market rate! And the one before that was a third less than full! Commander if you keep offering contracts only to--" "Ahah aaaaaa I get it, you don't have to say any more! Fine! Fine!"
Finally putting his equipment down, Gideon says "As much as I appreciate your willingness to offer naval support, my unit will do its best work on the ground. Storming and securing an enemy base should be no issue at all. Of course, we've come prepared with our own aerial recon and electronics equipment. Now, about this 'Princess'. What is she like?" "Commander . . ." "This is valuable tactical intelligence you know."
|Shigure|| "Sword Team should expect static defenses mostly, we've not seen much movement on land, though our recon flights have taken ground fire from camouflaged AA emplacements. They may also have static turrets or hardpoints to desuade a ground invasion." replies Yamashiro to Kotone.
When the Youkai pair speak up, Shigure replies. "Davao is a person of interest... that is all you need to know. Payment will be provided on a performance basis, standard contractor rate, plus bonus for objectives completed or information retrieved."
Re-Class gets everyone's backs up, but she's obstensibly here to 'help', so her question is replied to by Yamashiro. "All Abyssal targets to be destroyed if possible, except for Davao is she is present." The Battleship eyes the little monster, red eyes narrowed at those pink lanterns.
The volley of speech from the T-Doll unit earn Kuma's attention. "Tool Spirits, kuma. Just think of us as ghosts that fight, kuma." Gideon's question is answered by Shigure. "As I told the others, person of interest... we would rather not go into too much detail at this point. However, she is highly aggressive and very resiliant."
|Reiuji and Rin||Utusho: "'In need'...?"
Rin: "Oh, totally. Everything's fine as long as we're gettin' somethin' outta this, bro."
Utusho: "Well, yeah. Even I'm not dumb enough to do stuff for free, but are we...?"
Rin: "Of course! You're the one that keeps wantin' to try out weird human food, remember?"
Utusho: "Because /you/ keep eating the good parts before I get back..."
Part of the briefing is missed when the bird and the cat start bickering, but they quiet down enough when information about Davao and the payment is laid out at Gideon's and Rin's questioning. Rin seems slightly put off by the lack of actual information on Davao, but Utsuho seems otherwise fine with what they've been told.
That, or she's just not too concerned in general. "So we can just blow everything up, grab the bodies, and... Uh. Bring this Davao back, I guess. Sounds easy enough." Utsuho sounds rather pleased with the mission details in general, taking a moment to remove her control rod and sneak a pretzel into her face.
It's crunchy though, so it's not that sneaky.
Utusho: "We'll hit their main force, then. Spear team, right?"
Rin: "That's the one! So... Commander bro, right? What's this about contracts? Whadda ya got for us?"
|Midway|| "Ghosts that fight is about right," Re-class chips in for the benefit of the Dolls, on the heels of Kuma's explanation. She doesn't break eye contact with Yamashiro while she talks. All she does is tilt her head, "Some are more ghost than others. Some are more ghosts than others." Her lips split into that wide shark-toothed grin again, "Mama's a whole *lot* of ghosts, after all. A whole warzone. Every soul. Every curse. Every drop of hatred, solidified and screaming for blood."
Suddenly her gaze shifts. Just, snap, locking on to Gideon, "That's an Abyssal Princess."
She maintains that wide-eyed stare on the human commander for a moment before, mercifully, breaking away and closing those ominous pink lanterns fully. Arms lift, folding her hands against the back of her hooded head as she turns and exits the briefing room. Snaking behind her, the impossibly muscular tail with its steel-clad head. That fang-toothed maw on the end is closed, at least, though it rumbles like some caged beast anticipating its next meal.
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa had not expected to see T-dolls today, but that's not a bad thing she kno9ws that G&K is a fairly serious PMC sort so yeah they would be an asset to the mission ahead. She looks to Gideon for a moment and hums he seems level-headed.
"Got it IO should be able to handle that, I can sneak about pretty well. She would seem to be fairly ready to go as she also watches Reiuji and Rin hammer out the last of the details for their job. She has an idea of what she needs to do and she can roll with it.
"Seems like all that's left is to out and deploy..."
She pauses looking to Re-Class as she talks to Gideon and shows off her rigging. Yeah that was creepy even when they were not trying to shoot you with them.
|Gideon Kaspar|| "Ah, we're capturing an enemy princess. How historical. Romantic, even. Though, now I'm glad I didn't call Sier." "Please refrain from calling those troublesome guys in general." "Yeah, I know. There's bound to be an incident if they have HK around this group."
When Re-class finally pops in on their discussion, Kalina jumps her feet up onto her chair and squeezes her tablet to her chest, wearing the most nervous, unblinking, fake-smile imaginable, only managing "Eheheh . . . hi?" Gideon, however, seems to enter into deep contemplation, nodding slowly as he strokes his chin. "I see. We don't really deal in ghosts. And if she's like that, then there's probably no point in having a chat is there?" "Commanderrrrr, let's go alreadyyy! Please!"
Gideon stands up. In perfect synchronization, the AR team stands up as well. He turns around to address them rather than the front of the room. "While the other teams are dealing with the generators and occupying the main enemy force, we'll be deploying as the third prong, to assault and occupy the enemy command post. Ghosts or not, the gist of the operation is nothing out of the ordinary. Stationary guns shouldn't be an issue. Trust me to have the air support handled."
"Aye aye Captain! --Ow Violet don't-- ow!"
"I'll have dummy units dropped in along the way. Use that time to synchronize fire cores and water seal your weapons. We're loading APCR and AP/HE for this; this isn't an operation we can bring snipers to, and the fleet's guns should fill that role if we need it. There won't be much cover on the approach, so we're going in with a smokescreen. It's fine to use dummies to get in, as long as you can maintain at least three. We'll have a cover barrage come from the QLZ-04 from the rear."
"If you encounter the enemy Princess, treat her like an enemy Ringleader unit. I'll leave the moment to moment particulars to your discretion, Clover." "Thank you Commander. I won't let you down!" "Hazel, please take care of her." "As per the usual, got it~" "Violet, move in with the back row and provide fire intervention from the maximum angle you're able." "I don't mind." "And Rose." "Yeah?" "No trophies this time. We'll get you something on the way back." "Aw okay." "Anti-Rain Team dismissed!"
|Shigure|| "Alright, Dismissed, we can provide a Daihatsu for insertion if you need it, Commander Kaspar, otherwise, tune radios to channel seven on 105 amp. We will have one of the Torpedo Squadreon's cruisers tasked for firesupport if you need it." Shigure says, saluting as she watches Re-class leave. "Sword team moves in ten minutes. Hammer elements move in fifteen. Spear moves immediately. We will have some air cover from Longbow team, but they are at maximum range and the low light conditions will mean their effectiveness will be reduced."
30 minutes later, Malacca Strait. Area of OperationsL E-3.
SWORD: The approach to the shore is rough. A small number of light cannons and machinegun nests open fire on the amphibious transports as they approach. The LST ships provide some cover fire, firing their own shots in retaliation, but the water continues to erupt in plumes of displaced water and shrapnel from the shells detonating. "Sword Actual to Spear Actual, we're on course, Tee Plus two minutes, confirm."
SPEAR: "Spear Actual to Sword, confirmed. Keep us appraised, out." Shigure replies, making a gesture to the other girls in formation as her hairflaps crackle with power as her radar sweeps. "Where are they... it's too quiet out here." The main strait is pitch black, like an overcast, moonless night. Searchlights are kept off to try and preserve some element of surprise... right up until a muzzle flash shatters the darkness. "Contact! Evasive maneuvers!"
HAMMER: Accompanying the T-Dolls is a small commando unit. They're mostly silent on the ride in, and the Command Post and Shore Battery don't seem to know they're there just yet. "Hammer to Spear, approaching drop site. Tee minus five. Deploying an going radio silent."
|Reiuji and Rin||And then it's time to move. Utsuho and Rin are all too happy to go charging ahead, the former moreso than the latter as the raven's lit up like a freaking beacon with the fire coming out behind her like some kind of thrusters* while the kasha is taking her time riding that wheelbarrow through the sky.
*They don't actually make her go faster. She just likes the way they look.
Utsuho: "Hey, what do you think of this Davao business?"
Rin: "Who knows? Pretty shady if it's all under wraps, don'tcha think?"
Utsuho: "I dunno. Sometimes, it's less confusing without all the weird stuff."
Rin: "Yeah, but the weird stuff's the juicy stuff! Maybe they're hidin' something. Something big!"
Neither of them are particularly quiet about this. It helps fill the dead air, at least, especially with those concerns about things being too quiet. Evasion is the last thing on Utsuho's mind as the muzzle flash and following projectiles come flying at her, her entire body burning with a bright flame as she charges right through it with only superficial wounds in the process and laughing the whole time.
"Come on! You're gonna have to do better than that!" She bellows wildly in an outright challenge, firing a miniature sun forwards in the sky to illuminate... Well, everything. Herself, whatever's shooting at her, probably a lot of other things. It might screw with any sort of heat-seeking stuff, though, along with anyone hoping to use something like night vision goggles to not go terribly blind.
Rin, meanwhile, is content to hang back under the cover of Utsuho going ham in order to try and actually spot whoever's shooting at them. If Rin sees someone firing up at Utsuho, she'll even take that opportunity to get in close before blasting the crap out of them with a more focused flame.
|Midway|| Out on the waves, Re-Class cannot be seen. She disappeared from the formation sometime after the shroud of darkness fell-- or perhaps more accurately one could say when the formation passed the curtain of darkness. Her radar contact just...disappeared at that point. Given the splashing noises, it's highly likely the Abyssal shipgirl simply submerged under cover of night.
With the real sun blotted out, the artificial sun created by Utsuho reveals Re's location; a white squiggle underwater, slithering under the waves well ahead of the combined fleet formation. While the girl's black hoodie conceals the pale complexion of her body, her tail is obvious from altitude when she runs this shallow.
She doesn't even need the light; not down there. It's the sonar that she runs by, turning underwater and bringing her tail around in an arc. Objects are discharged, revealed as torpedoes when their motors engage and start producing wakes of their own; fired in an arc towards the sonar signature of the enemy fleet formation.
Only then does Re surface, somewhat halfway between where she had been supposing the Abyssal fleet was, and the under-fire Kanmusu fleet. Her hands raise to either side, eyes as wide as her jagged smile while her tail rears up behind her.
|Kotone Yamakawa||The G&K forces seem primed and ready to go. Reiuji and Rin are as well. Kotone was ready to roll out and she was soon cloaking and hitting the beaches so to speak she would be trying to make her way unseen towards her objective.
Well that's what she hopes to do. She's ready to spring off the transport the moment they get in water shallow enough she can move through it.
Once she thinks they are close enough KLotone will double jump off the transport and dash, she'll hit the water. This is the most dangerous time for her as the water will reveal where she is, she'll have to get out of it as quickly as possible so she focuses on that hoping to get out of it as quickly as she can.
|Gideon Kaspar|| On the boat ride in, Gideon sits on a bench wearing a sea poncho, touch pad out on his lap, being tapped as a thoughtful habit. "Sitting along for the ride with human soldiers. How old-fashioned." Kalina, also in a sea poncho, which she insists on being striped pink and black, adds "Hey, this whole place is pretty old-fashioned right? They're professionals. I'm sure we can depend on them." "Pfeh. That's hardly the point is it? I don't remember asking for their help; and they're getting paid to clutter up the battlefield." "Huh? Weren't you just trying to cut discounts back there?" "Still not the point, Kalina. This is why you're the adjutant." "I happen to *like* my job!"
When the craft makes its landing, the whole group disembarks at once. The four T-Dolls from the briefing hall are now twenty in total, each one running with four identically built and armed bodies operating in perfect coordination, making up several squads that can't be told apart. Gideon, not feeling like walking into the line of fire of a bunch of turrets, has Kalina haul out a shitty plastic folding table and chairs, sets down a laptop, tablet, closed radio transciever, and laser comm, and cracks open the tactical map. Shortly thereafter, an expensive-looking military quadrotor drone is launched from out of a cooler-style case, ascending high into the sky to obtain real-time feeds.
"Since we can't be sure how the defenses are controlled, there's no point in trying to set up an electronic attack on the enemy base; this world's technology is still too primitive for guns to run on computer guidance anyways. Move up as far as you can before the guns obtain visual lock. The moment they do, Hazel, pop smoke. Violet, begin taking out gunners or targets of opportunity. Intercept shells if possible. Rose, close in ahead of Clover and begin explosive bombardment. Clover will handle the breach. Clear a narrow arc of enemy fire and stack up on the door."
This is precisely what happens. Fortunately(?) for the commandos, the slightly outlandishly dressed girls are immediately able to leave them in the dust at their top speed, moving with extreme quickness in unerring formation, fanning out into broad wedges so that they aren't bunched up against artillery fire, and combing the island for the most they can find in trees and rocks that approach the defensive line before they have to cross open ground.
Once they do, pops and flashes ripple across a wide and deep section of the frontline, casting thick plumes of grey smoke out from shallow embankments. Flashes of gunfire follow in the haze, rapidly strobing muzzle flashes moving too quickly to follow, their misty cracks wafting back to the shore. Considerable automatic fire is focused on outer emplacements at close range, with assault rifles loaded up on the technology that makes tank rounds work in miniature. Several points in the rear, covered line fling suppressed rounds from afar with pinpoint precision, putting less sneaky high-explosive rounds into magazines and stockpiles where visible.
Another wave of smoke goes up once the forward echelons can establish a defensible, covered perimeter --likely with whatever fortifications the Abyssals just had-- and then bombardment begins from five points in the cloudy area, firing volleys of rifle grenades in high, parabolic arcs, which split into carpets of bomblets to shower the enemy.
|Shigure|| SWORD: "Sword Actual to all points, open fire now, give Yamakawa an opening so she can do her thing!" The landing crack beach, then deploy stowed turrets which elevate and open fire on sources of incoming shots. Mortar shells thunk and detonate in wide arcs as they counter battery and suppress incoming fire. Kotone should have a clear run to the spire.
SPEAR: The sudden light makes the Kanmusu balk briefly, but they recover soon enough, opening fire on the now exposed Abyssals. The Shadow Fleet patrol are caught flat footed when that micro-sun lights up the night and fries their optical equipment. The Ta-class growls, a deep menacing sound as she launches a volley of missiles! Which promptly all aim up at the giant glowing ball in the sky like flies caught in one of the bug zappers. One of the Ri-class is unlucky enough to get ambushed by a sneaky Kasha and set alight. She screams as she starts to flail, modified gauntlets starting to emit *jets* of molten metal as fires catch in flammable locations, and then suddenly. BOOM.
Re's torpedoes fine a mark in one of the I-class, spearing the whale-like destroyer as it turns to try and help its allies... this gives the others another target, and Re-class is fired on by the remaining Ri-class, a volley of airburst munitions that cause a powerful concussive wave alongside the traditional explosive.
HAMMER: The human team are more than happy to let the T-Dolls take the lead. They skirt around wide to come in fromt the other side while the Dolls take the front. Once the smoke pops and the androids all start opening fire, they're met with a token resistance. Machine gun nests that, on closer inspection are just mounts of horror flesh with machinegun barrels emerging from broken jaws full of teeth. They even sound like they're cackling as the gun fires.
The Drone is ignored, and gives a good overview of the compound. There are five buildings, surrounded by those token defensive watch points, and the drone can spot movement within the compound, a few humanoid Abyssals, a few animal-like creatures, and a bored looking woman, alabaster white seated on a floating 'throne' with horror mouths sporting long artillery barrels.
The creepiest thing the Drone picks up, is that woman is staring straight at it.
|Reiuji and Rin||Seeing that reaction from both ally and enemy gets more cackling from Utsuho, and it's not exactly the most friendly type. Why not? She's enjoying just making a nuisance of herself out here, and there's the bonus of being able to test her strength against...
Well, who /is/ there to test her strength against? There's the Ta-class that fires off the missiles against her sun, drawing a more amused noise from Utsuho as she zeroes in on her new target. "You're gonna have to try harder than that! Come on, show me what you got already!"
As the miniature sun starts to disperse, the light doesn't actually fade. It's just in a different spot as Utsuho channels that nuclear energy around herself next, not quite realizing that she's also making herself susceptible to subsequent missiles now that she's the center of that burning orb instead. Said orb is also hurtling towards the Ta-class now as Utsuho dives forward, concrete-encased leg pointed forwards in a mighty diving kick with enough fire to evaporate the water around the Ta-class even before she reaches the water.
Rin, meanwhile, backs away from the Ri-class just as quickly as she closed in, trying to get some space between them as she finds herself barraged by chunks of metal. Even with those wounds, though, it's not quite as bad as what the Ri-class goes through, and Rin follows up the explosion with decisive...
... Body harvesting, if there's anything left after that explosion. It'll distract her for a bit, at least, as she tries to get the Ri-class into her cart for future furnace fueling.
|Midway|| Gunfire was expected, but Re's ruse doesn't last long. A burst munion explodes right above her, tipping the girl over into a faceplant on the water's surface. Her tail stands stock upright for a moment, then collapses down behind her with a splash. She floats there, face-down so nobody can see her bewildered expression.
First off, what was that? Second off, is she really so unpopular that another fleet would shoot her on sight? It's not like they could've known that was one of her torpedoes, after all...
The expression shifts. Her shark-toothed grin appears. Well. If that's the case, it saves her some trouble. Obviously she was fired on first. It's self defense!
From the outside perspective, Re simply floats there. After a time, she sinks underwater as abyssals tend to do when defeated, leaving a small patch of oily scum on the surface.
Once the firefight exchange between fleets has begun in earnest, that's when the Aviation Battleship reveals herself again. Taking a trick from her monstrous Princess' book, Re-Class erupts from underwater right in front of the enemy Ta-class battleship. She doesn't simply surface; Re pounces, hurling herself at the opposing warship girl with all her weight, clawed hands outstretched. Her tail coils up behind her like a scorpion's, ready to strike.
|Kotone Yamakawa||The good news is Kotone is able to get an opening thanks to supporting from her allies. She would make her break for it she gets moving running for the spire at the top speed that she can make. Which is about as fast as a car and she's tearing up the ground as she goes. She'll be looking by any chance for wireless signals to see if there is anything she can do with that.
With that she'll make for the spire as she closes she tries to get a better view of this thing, was it what they thought it was?"
|Gideon Kaspar|| "Here we go. Hammer team has eyes on the VIP. Cute, actually. Shame about the everything else" This gets some amount of Kalina grabbing at the radio, which Gideon avoids with the casual expertise of someone who is very used to maintaining the mic by all means necessary.
"Commander, we've cleared the machine gun picket. Their stationary guns aren't putting up much resistance, but . . ."
"Ahahaha! Gross! Look at how gross they are! I wanna take their teeth home but they're way too big! Hahaa! Look Hazel, they *bleed*!"
"Hey hey, calm down now. We're on the clock. And I think you're freaking out our team leader. Don't worry Clover, I think that's just oil."
"Why do we have to be reassuring our squad leader? Are you sure this isn't too difficult for you?"
"N-no, I'm fine. What I mean to say is that their base is very lightly fortified. Plus, they don't seem to be using any notable communications equipment to transfer orders. It doesn't feel like it's very important to them. It's almost like . . ."
"Go on Clover. Trust your intuition. You have that irreplaceable decision-core for a reason, right?"
"Right. It's not like a Ringleader. It feels like the VIP is just . . . camping out?"
". . . noted. Fairy one has visual on her right now, but she hasn't made any moves. I don't think she'll try to flee, so don't spread out to surround her; it'll just make for a thinner offensive line. Group up behind the two facilities here and here. Synchronize long distance fire to hit her support units before they organize, then volley explosives again to clear out the fodder. Stay low and move quickly. Rely on concealment, not cover; we don't know how powerful those guns are."
Clover's tactical scanner pulse runs through the base. The humanoid Abyssals are targeted first, going about their usual business for only a few moments more before being beset by the invisible supersonic stings of anti-armour ammunition, repeatedly fired in perfectly coordinated unison from five bodies all belonging to Violet, using short and rapid long-range bursts that quickly and systematically shift from target to target as they have the opportunity.
Once the first few bullets land, Hazel braces her carry case up against the corner of one of the five buildings, and gathers her dummy units across the lane, all of them priming stun grenades and throwing them over the top into the Abyssal yard. Rose, finally unable to contain her nonsense, begins emptying the rest of her cluster grenades into the animalistic Abyssals and remaining turrets. Clover and Hazel both surge through the two split firing corridors, putting the Air Defense Princess up against ten visible guns. Though, as per orders, they don't fire yet.
"Disarm your weapons and stand up slowly! Your operations in this area area over! We've already cut off the rest of your allies and have you surrounded! You won't be harmed as long as you comply with our orders!" She sounds considerably braver than usual. Unfortunately, she messes up the routine a little by actually sounding as if she would prefer to not shoot the Princess, when you're supposed to sound like you're looking for an excuse.
|Shigure|| SPEAR: Rin's out of the fight while she salvages whats left of that Ri-class. Surprisingly little remains, some scraps of metal float where the woman exploded, sizzling and somehow remaining bouyant, perhaps from trapped gas inside. There isn't that much left apart from a large patch of oily scum. The Ta-class brings her cannons up at Utsuho as she Dive Kicks at her... the boiling water throws off some of her aim, but that just puts the shots in Re's path as she pounces. The Fast Battleship lives up to her name, juking back with a quick kick of her legs to send her skidding clear of the kick and pounce. "Shizume!" CIWS pop up over her 'rigging, spraying 20mm bullets with a sound like tearing paper, while a quartet of missiles launch from behind her, angle at the apex of their upward arc, then ignite engines and lance out towards the Sun Crow, their warheads a jabbering maw that seems to be cackling as it flies to its doom.
SWORD: Kotone finds a wireless signal, the code is encrypted so she'll have to hack through it to use the network or gain access. As she crosses the defensive line, she'll find a door, large, steel with a ring-crank opening like the pressure bulkhead doors on a submarine. It's currently closed, but should be easy enough for the cyborg to force open. Sounds of battle continue behind her as the rest of SWORD team storm the beach and attempt to shut down the batteries.
HAMMER: "Hammer Actual to G&K Actual, we're approaching the compound at signal Delta, moving into the building north-north east. Attempting to secure intel." the tight-beam communication comes through to Gideon, the human commandos having worked their way around to the back of the facility, while the Dolls assault and draw all the attention toward them.
Davao watches as the groundAbyssals fall to the coordinated fire of the T-Dolls. When Clover issues the ultimatum, the Princess leans on one hand, clasping fingers around her face with a bemused expression. "Hooooh? The little gnat thinks she has me surrounded... isn't that delightful." Her voice is syrupy sweet, even as she's surrounded by death, explosions and the burning corpses of a dozen Ground Defense Abyssals. "Allow me to demonstrate how wrong you are." A pulseburst of radio noise causes the ground to start rumbling beneath the T-Dolls feet... the part constructed Shore Battery lurches to life and elevates its barrels, swinging them around. A thunderous report issues as it launches a massive shell towards Spear Team, striking one of the support cruisers directly, sending her to her knees with a burning stump where a leg used to be.
"That shot came from the shore battery! That thing's operational!"
|Midway|| Ta-class dashes back; Re-class' surprise lunge, as a result, misses and gets a face full of high caliber ammunition for her trouble. She hits the water on all fours, limbs splayed out like a lizard's for flexibility with her tail curled up and over herself. Surrounded by steam and black smoke, she looks less like a ship or a girl; with eyes glowing in the depths of her hood, wide and staring, perfect circles of bright pink highlighted with wisps of glowing blue smoke leaking from the corners, the Aviation Battleship more resembles the monster she so casually claims to be.
Gunfire peppers the little monstrosity, drawing sprays of ichorous black sludge in place of blood, adding to the slick beneath her from her earlier injuries. Her expression goes blank for a moment, processing what's hitting her. After a moment, her head lowers, that grin returning, "Anti-air guns? Looks fancy. But I'm not an airplane."
She keeps her tail poised for a purpose that should become clear in a moment. The triple-gun turrets mounted to the sides of its jaw, however, do not remain immobile. Traversing, the cannons open fire point-blank with a rapid staccato of cannon reports and dense black cordite smoke.
|Reiuji and Rin||The evasive maneuver from the Ta-class doesn't surprise Utsuho in thel east, and it only seems to excite her further even with the missiles coming her way. She blasts two away with a volley of fiery lasers, but the other two strike her dead on along with the bullets coming her way, creating an explosion that's sure to make her look even cooler when the smoke clears!
"That's more like it... You're bigger than the others, so it would've been disappointing if you went down that easy!" Indeed, she does emerge from the explosive cloud, still floating above the water with some visible bruising from the point-blank explosions, as well as some bleeding cuts and tactical clothing damage from shrapnel and bullets.
"... But come on. Where's your boss? This is getting-" And then explosions rock the sea around the Spear team again, but not from the Ta-class. Rather, they're coming from Davao, and Utsuho barely flinches when she sees one of the support cruisers losing a leg. If anything, she seems more impressed than anything else at that sight. "-... Old. So get out of the way!"
Rin, meanwhile, doesn't really bother gathering too much of the exploded Ri-class parts aside from some particularly shiny bits and bobs. Without a (relatively) intact corpse, she pays little attention to the other pieces. Instead, she spots the Ri-class still getting in the way of the Spear team, and she shifts gears after exchanging only a brief glance with Utsuho.
"Don't forget about me! Make a better corpse for us, will ya?!" Rin fires off a barrage of colorful white and blue fireballs towards the Ri-class, taking to the air in the direction opposite of Re and Utsuho to create a more widespread... Spread of shots. As she does that, Utsuho does a bit of experimentation and leaps onto the Re-class' tail, bouncing off that to get some extra height fast.
And then she goes for another diving attack, front-flipping in mid-fall with an overwrought axe kick (complete with an axe-shaped flame trail) to take advantage of Rin's distraction attempt.
|Gideon Kaspar|| "Very well. Do your best." Gideon replies to the commando team, dimly pleased that they don't seem to be dead. Mainly, his eyes are glued to the monitor, watching the coloured dots and glowing lines of his T-Dolls moving from position to position, and the red blips of enemy units disappearing one after the other. Kalina leans over his shoulder. "What's the matter, Commander? You've got a scary look on your face." "If it's going this well, after what Clover says, that can only mean the boss is going to be a handful." No sooner has he said it than the radio begins crackling and shrieking.
"What the-- Hammer Actual, what's your anti-materiel package?! Charges? At least rockets. Something! Send one man here with whatever intel you can get and put the rest on that gun, or else nobody's getting off this island! AR Lead--" "Don't worry Commander, my tactical module picked it up. She's controlling the gun somehow, right?" "It's worth assuming so. We don't have the luxury of putting her in handcuffs. Pile in. I'm engagig Fairy one." "Understood. Here we go!"
Sharing commands with the others doesn't take Clover any time or verbal action; that's half the point of being linked together the way they are. Davao is the recipient of a dozen different sensor pings all at once, preceding the holographics that light up before eyes and in gunsights. "I'm sorry . . . you don't stand a chance."
A missile suddenly drops in from out of the clear blue, or rather, more of a tiny bomb at this point, having used up its propellant after being launched from the distant drone. It lands square on Davao's position, and its surprisingly powerful boom is the signal for the whole AR team to begin moving. The dummy squads quickly scatter into the surrounding fortifications using the cover of fire and smoke, splitting up so that they can all only be shot at individually, while having simultaneous line of fire on the Princess.
Before the smoke even clear's she's surrounded with an all-around light show of twenty different automatic rifles, focusing all of their fire into her throne of guns and jaws and chains. Bursts of flashing fire erupt from darkened view ports, then disappear as the shooter smoothly shifts to the next position, vaulting and sliding to set up another half-magazine blast, reloading on the run. Turning to face one way causes all of the synchronized units behind her to pop up and plaster her with hundreds of rounds of anti-android ammo. Wherever she aims her guns, her chosen target seems to know about it already, and dives to break line of sight.
The numerous silhouettes circle the Princess as per Gideon's orders, remaining mobile, distracting, and hard to pick out any one specifically, to render the big battery of ship cannons ineffective. Smoke pops up here and there to screen buildings. Stunning flashes land in front of her repeatedly. The remaining rifle grenades streak through the air and impact from all sides whenever she tries to turn around. Suppressed shots disappear in the general disorienting flash and roar, striking at ammo feeds as well as eyes and hands.
It's a different world of experience from being under fire from military goons. Thirty round bursts go without missing. Reloads switch out in the blink of an eye. Fields of fire constantly overlap in ways that would normally risk hitting friendlies. Units seamlessly take advantage of every opening as it happens. Worse still, since four out of five enemies are completely expendable, they lack four fifths of a human's self-preservation instinct at least. No more evident is that than when one of the Roses leaps off a building from behind to outright tackle Davao, armed with only the crushing grip of her clawed right hand, a combat knife in the left, and an especially unhinged laugh.
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone finds a signal she's going to have to break into it. She will have to try to break into it when she gets a chance. She does find the door though and she looks at it. Odd it's very odd really. The sounds of SWORD's primary combat elements can be heard she should be fast. She'll look to force the door open, as these things tend to be analog, she hopefully will get a moment to get into the wireless when she gets a chance maybe after she gets inside here. Hopefully, she'll be able to put her strength into this and get it open without too much trouble. There's going to be noise, no helping that she muses.
"Just what are you hiding in here..."
|Shigure|| SPEAR: Re's point-blank fire scores true, blasting one of Ta's turrets off, punching a hole through her mid-section and shattering half of her face, leaving a glowing hole of golden light where her eye used to be. This leaves her open to Utsuho's axe-kick, striking on her shoulder as she attempts to dodge, and sending her faceplanting into the water.
The second Ri-class turns her gauntlets on Rin, and returns the blue and white flames with a volley of concussion rounds, the shells airbursting around the Kasha while she does her best to dodge around the incoming fire. Meanwhile, the remaining destroyers mingle into the Kanmusu fleet, engaging at point blnak range.
That's when a second shot from the Shore Battery lances out, barely missing Hiei as she jukes aside, shielding her face from the closeby shrapnel burst, and another volley of fire comes from further down the strait, the sillouette of Surigao, Princess of Shadows appearing on the darkened horizon. "Shigure all points, we have to buy Sword team more time... close in on the second Abyssal fleet and engage them at point blank range!"
"We won't last long against those Ta-class!"
"We'll last longer than against the Shore battery. And we might take a few of them with us."
Hammer: "Hammer Actual copies, sending a runner to you now. Hammer seven is enroute. You heard the man, lets get charges on that thing." The human commandoes are compentant and know their limits, that's why they're not joining in the attack on Davao.
The Princess of Pain, meanwhile, cackles madly as the drone strike hits her, causing a large 'welt' to appear on her rig where it struck and detonated and those anti material rounds strike her, many of them simply bouncing off of her increadibly thick armour, though explosives do dent the metal, draw ichorous 'blood' and caus damage, as well as bullets finding chinks in that ridiculous plate. "Good! GOOD! Maybe you can finally make me FELL SOMETHING!" the Princess seems deranged, her guns firing wildly, not even bothering to track the Dolls, and just lobbing explosive shells everywhere. A wide area radar pulse locks onto all the Dolls at once, and they would find themselves being tracked by CIWS turrets that pop out of that horror rigging, spraying their anti-missile fire all around.
SWORD: Kotone manages to beark in, both physically and digitally. She'll have access to the network and the ability to find the schematics of this tower. It's simple, really, a large central reactor feeding energy sucked from the local surroundings into the emitter at the top.
The door leads into a control room of sorts, a large 'heart' pulsing as it crackles with energy. "Sword Actual to Yamakawa, we're getting pushed pretty damn hard out here, you've got five minutes tops before we have to pull out, there's reinforcements coming in from further in-land."
|Kotone Yamakawa||The first thing Kotone does as she gets into the digital network, she'll start to download the plans to the building the moment she can find it. It's pretty easy to look out over the design of it. She looks over the reactor and the emitter and she'll have to make a quick call on what to take out first. The emitter would be easier for the enemy to fix. So she's going to go to the reactor and she's got some plasma grenades ready.
<<Sword Actual I hear you. I'm in the target and I'm moving to blow the reactor now.>>
So she moves to seek out the reactor and plant the grenades as soon as she finds it, she's going to have to make it quick.
|Midway|| When Ta-Class hits the water, Re lunges. She doesn't pounce the taller battleship, though. She slides to a stop right beside her, leaning down and resting one hand on the back of her head. In a low voice, filled with menace, the aviation battleship hisses, "Stay down."
With little else, Re hauls back to her feet, returning to a bipedal stance with her tail lowering itself to hover its head beside her. Her head turns slightly, glowing eyes scanning across the waves, the wreckage of Ri-class, the second Ri-class engaged with Rin, to Surigao looming in the distant edges of the light produced by Utsuho's sun.
Pink eyes narrow, but Re turns away from this tantelizing target. Rather, her attention swings inland and Abyssal aircraft begin sliding down the length of her tail, reaching full size by the time they reach the end of the airstrip that marks the top of her tail's head, launching in sets of four which ascend and swing inland. As the Aviation Battleship's aircraft take to the sky, her voice crackles into local-area comms with all the quality of a waterlogged radio set from the 1940s.
"Establishing air superiority. Fighter-bombers away!"
|Reiuji and Rin||Once the Ta-class hits the water between her and Re's efforts, Utsuho raises her control rod to her face as the bright glow transfers from her into the tool. "Alright, that's enough of that. Now let's see who's next, huh?" Her prayers are answered as a new warrior enters the fray, and she all but forgets about the Ta-class' existence as she beelines for Surigao instead.
Rin: "Which one's the first Abyssal fleet and which one's the second?"
Utsuho: "Who cares? This one looks stronger!"
Rin: "Are we even gonna get paid at this rate?!"
When the raven gets a better view of Surigao, she greets her in the only way she knows: Copious amounts of fire. "Oi! You look stronger than the others... You better survive this one!" That call to action is followed by a heat-laser fired from Utsuho's control rod, intentionally aimed at the water just a bit in front of Surigao to create an impressive-looking eruption of boiling-hot water and scalding steam to see how she reacts.
Meanwhile, Rin's still busy contending with the Ri-class. She yelps as a concussion round bursts next to her and sends her careening off course, but she catches herself at the last moment and kicks off her wheelbarrow to get both herself and it out of harm's way just in time.
"You're a tough one, ain'tcha? Heh... You'd have a pretty fun time in hell, ya know. Swing by sometime if you survive this!" Eevn Rin's starting to laugh as a ring of fireballs starts expanding outwards from her position, steadily starting to home in on the Ri-class. That's not the only source of fireballs, though, as fairies start to swarm out of the wheelbarrow, rushing at the Ri-class and exploding in their own swarm of bullets once they're hit by anything (including friendly fire).
|Gideon Kaspar|| "See? I told you we should be able to rely on them!" "They're still going to need time to get here. Fairy one only had the single missile charge, and we can't bring it back without losing our feed. Clover's overclock program looks like it's working wonders, but we're in a battle of attrition with that Ringleader now; its armour is ridiculously tough, and we can't call someone like Autumn, Maple, or Vivi on short notice. I'm pegging their estimated time . . . six minutes? I'd know if they were Dolls."
Gideon hits the laser comms. "AR Leader, pin down the enemy as long as you can. We can't afford her breaking off and running down the commando team. Go on the offensive. Only pull out once you've lost your last dummy link. The others have their sides handled." A small lie. "So don't be afraid of using all your ammo. Your hunch was right; it doesn't look like she's fighting conventionally, or even with any tactics at all. It'll be to your benefit if you can converge and punch through a part of her coverage, then close all at once." A green affirmative light flashes on his eyepiece. A second later, as commands are relayed through the Zener network, a yellow, pink, and violet light flash too.
On the field itself: "Six minutes is too much . . . there's no way we can hold this position with that amount of firepower." Clover moans, back up against the rear of a half-caved-in outpost, and flinching as one of her dummy units is slightly too slow to move from a window and is crushed under falling rubble. Hazel slides in next to her, changing magazines. "That's right. The base isn't sturdy enough to hold out much longer, and she doesn't look like she cares if she tears it down at all. I'm on my last three mags. Violet's doing better but she doesn't have any explosives. Rose is down to her FMJ. Six of the fifteen dummy units are incapacitated."
Clover flinches with every line of the report, reacting to it more strongly than the explosions landing all around. She stares back at Hazel with eyes visibly barely holding in panic. "I . . . Did I do something wrong? What do we do now?" Her 'senior' blinks, then begins laughing. "Hey now, why are you asking me? You're the team leader, aren't you?" Clover slowly looks down. "Maybe, but you've always been better at thinking of what to do in these kinds of situations. I'm not . . . I'm afraid if I do something wrong, then . . ." Hazel's hand falls on the top of her head, mussing up her hair. "And I told you that you can't keep relying on me forever, didn't I? I'm really nothing special; you're just too afraid of making mistakes. Whatever your orders, we'll listen. Just do the best that you can." Clover feigns a deep breath, though she doesn't need it. The gesture is pointless between Dolls; it just comes inexplicably naturally. ". . . Right. The Commander is depending on me."
The shooting on the side of G&K goes silent for a moment, just as Davao really gets into it. There are no further sounds, no stinging bullets, no burning explosives. Naval shells go flying off in every direction without response. It is, in fact, Clover's order through the Zener net, that everyone dig in and let the Princess rile herself up. "The fact that she's some kind of ghost --someone made of grudges --we'll use that."
|Gideon Kaspar|| Under the random shelling and chatter of gunfire, the T-Dolls crawl slowly through the trenches and craters made by the battle, grouping together out of sight of the enemy. The tense waiting goes on as long as necessary until the Abyssal Princess seems to have become completely distracted. Then, the whole column of all the remaining squad units jumps up out of the debris, and storms forward all at once, from Davao's most damaged arc, pouring their fire all at once into the CIWS batteries and remaining artillery guns, literally vaulting over their own ablative copies as they're shot down, to make sure that she can't fire back from that side at all.
Switching to full anti-armour tactics, they concentrate the total weight of their fire on one point, hammering over a thousand rounds of exploding ammunition --all of it they have left-- all into Davao's less armoured midsection, combining the total energy of each impact and detonation into one tank-crumpling area.
The column peels apart at close range. The last stun grenade is thrown at point blank right into Davao's eyes. Three identical Roses, being the stronger, close combat specialist of the bunch, giddily throw themselves into a grappling, stabbing brawl with the Princess, trying to drag her down under them. Clover and Violet take opposite sides, getting inside the turret traverses and literally jamming smoking hot barrels into the pintles and magazine feeds. The whole group dogpiles the damaged and deranged Princess all at once, at a single point, to punch through her defenses, and completely incapacitate her.
"Hey. 'Davao'. What is it that you want to feel? I don't get it. Isn't this scary? Doesn't it hurt? What's the point of going down like this? I don't get it at all."
|Shigure|| SWORD: The reactor is easy enough to find, it's not even behind any kind of shielding. The Abyssals don't need to protect themselves from radiation or whatever. Once the grenades are set and detonate, the entire spire starts to go up, a chain reaction causing the spire to 'light' like a giant candle, searing away the 'absence' and allow the afternoon sun to shine down into this segment of the strait. This causes most of the incoming Shadow Fleet units to stop at the edge of the remaining veil, lobbing shells from there instead of coming further out.
SPEAR: The Ta-class stays down, sinking away like most Abyssals do whend efeated... she doesn't come lunging out at anyone like Re-class did though. Re-class's aircraft, once the Spire is destroyed, enjoy an easier time against the wave of incoming aircraft from Surigao... the Shadow Fleet seems to get a 'boost' from being in darkness, and now they're weakened in the light. Rin and Ri-class continue their dance, though the Heavy Cruiser isn't nearly as nimble as the Kasha. The fairy onslaught causes the cruiser to peace out, dropping beneath the waves and fleeing sub-surface after losing one of her gauntlets, and the associated arm with it. The patrol's destroyers also submerge and flee."Spear Actual to all Spear elements, fall back, do not engage the Night Strait Princess, repeat, disengage and fall back. Sword team has completed its objective, the shadow generator is down."
Utsuho's laser attack earns a derisive smirk from Surigao, the Battleship Princess perched atop a giant symbiote with a... Ru-class dressed up to look like Yamashiro. Fly away little bird. Fly away before you're swatted like a bug." comes the saccharine sharp voice of the Princess, as her entire arsenal comes to bare on the Nuclear Raven, multiple cannons belching flames as they lob shells at Utsuho, and only Utsuho.
Hammer Team move to place their satchel chages on exposed support pillars on the shore battery. They work quickly, disengage to safe distance and bring the thing down, shattering the supports and making the Artillery Imp inside shriek in agony as it's crushed by the support building collapsing onto it. "Hammer Actual to G&K Actual, target down, we're pulling back to extraction."
Davao, meanwhile, is cackling madly... though it trails off when the incoming fire trails off. "Come on, Come on! I know you're still there... your little humans are in danger if you run away now!" Davao knows exactly what's happening, she doesn't even react as the show battery 'dies'. Then, the Dolls come in all in one flank, and some even leap onto her, stabbing and grappling. The Princess continues to cackle, grabbing one of her gapplers and with some effort, hurling the Dummy off and through a ruined wall. "You will never understand... and now you're boring me, run away now, little gnat!" Davao goes down under the dogpile... and then she starts to beep, the tone gradually getting faster.
|Kotone Yamakawa||Kotone Yamakawa finds the reactor she does not waste any time on it. She shouldn't be here too long really given what could happen to herself. Once the last grenade is set? They will go off with a tell-tale beep once Kotone has managed to get out of the tower.
<<Sword this is Kotone, the tower is down I'm returning to the landing point so we can all get the heck out of here. There's nothing left for us!>>.
For what good it will do she will turn over the data she pulled once she has a chance too.
|Midway|| The Ta-Class battleship retreats and Re-Class simply nods once. Good. She kinda liked that one. Her loyalty to Davao early on in this mess reminded her of her own dedication to Midway. It'd be a shame to sink her for real.
Pink eyes lift to the skies once more. The squadrons of aircraft leaving the end of Re's tail change; the latest groups no longer obviously carrying bombs. Pure fighters. The Abyssal fighters already in the air also scramble, dropping their bombs as they shift to a full anti-aircraft CAP, engaging Surigao's incoming squadrons with the chatter of machine gun fire.
But something bothers her. Those glowing pink eyes lower to the horizon, locking on Surigao in the distance. Lifting a hand, Re cradles her chin, tapping her lips. Are they limited to the artificial night by choice, or is it a harder limitation? She'll have to report this new knowledge to her master as well.
|Gideon Kaspar|| "Wh-why?! There's no point in dying here!"
Clover's yelling falls on deaf ears. "Whoops! I guess it's time to go!" Even Rose has it figured out, scarpering for cover. Hazel swoops in and scoop-tackles Clover out of the way. "We're out. Violet?" The sharpshooter is already way ahead of you. "You're too slow to be checking in on me. At least when weighed down with her."
Back at shitty plastic folding table base though, Gideon sighs with relief when Davao decides to blow herself up, and take the big warning bleep off the radar. "Good work girls. Hammer actual is finishing up with the battery now. We have the intel." Though it's a shame we couldn't capture that one. The payment . . ." "It can't be helped. We're used to dealing with soldiers and AI --people that think rationally and have goals-- not whatever that was."